Why I have boycotted ‘traditional” marketing plans
If you have ever completed a small business course, you’ve probably been there. If you have ever Googled “free marketing plan template”, you’ve definitely been there.
Too often I have found myself looking at the “traditional” marketing plan template and thinking “how on earth is this actually going to help me get customers?”
The traditional structure looks a little something like this:
After “filling in the blanks” in a template, it is quite common to feel lost and directionless even though you have just spent an inconceivable amount of hours apparently planning your direction.
Now, I’m not saying that this structure is useless. Of course there are benefits to clearly identifying your target audience, your objectives and creating a strategy to reach them. However, I’m a realist and there’s no doubt that the majority of business owners have already nailed these steps.
When you first started your business, who did you envision your target audience to be? How did you imagine you would deliver your products or services to them?
The reality is that most businesses aren’t reinventing the wheel. More than likely, there are other businesses who have gone before you, that have operated in quite a similar way to yours and have paved the way for you.
Take the domestic electrician for example. All electricians have to begin their career with an apprenticeship for three – four years in an existing business. When they decide to start up their own business in the future, they should have an idea of how a domestic electrical business operates and the type of clients they would like to service. However, not being the business owner themselves, they lack the knowledge required to create a constant customer acquisition strategy.
What you should REALLY expect from reading a complete marketing plan, is a clear direction and specific steps that you now need to implement to start growing your business. And when I say specific, I mean specific. Not just a vague goal or dot point that reads “create a social media competition”. A good marketing plan should outline all the details in a step-by-step format including the content, the prize, the platform through which the competition should be hosted, the rules etc. This way, when you actually get to the stage of implementing the marketing plan, the actions won’t seem so daunting and it will just be a matter of checking them off in the correct order.
The whole purpose of the plan is to give you strategic and tactical direction. That’s why I have boycotted the “traditional” marketing plan and developed a plan that satisfies this criteria. Who says we have to play by the rules anyway? My marketing plans are full of actionable items. Rather than reading a whole bunch of business jargon or “fluff” as I refer to it, each section in my plan has an actionable item for you to complete, giving you really clear instructions about how you can market your brand and where to start.
“Marketing plans should equip you to jump straight in to marketing and the traditional structure or the ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ template do not do this well enough for small business owners.”
If you’re seeking a plan that will give you step-by-step instructions to begin marketing your business, check out my plans at www.marketingplans.online/shop
If you can’t see your industry, shoot me an email and you could have one in your hands within 10 working days – no extra charge!